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How the growing demand of high-speed internet impacted the early 2010's

Bowling Green, KY (May 25, 2021) - By 2015, high-speed internet used in the home was down to 2012 levels. The reason: smart phones! More people were using their phones exclusively. Average download speeds tripled between 2011 and 2014, according to the FCC, increasing from 10 Mbps to 31 Mbps. The internet was getting faster and more reliable, pushing traditional industries like bookstores, video-rental chains, and newspapers to find ways to make themselves relevant. Information and entertainment were only a click away on our smart phones. In 2012, Siri was born on the iPhone 4S.  

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Social Media continued to change the world’s culture, and this was on full display in 2011 when it was being used to start protests and revolutions like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. We lost Steve Jobs in 2011, but his legacy in advancing technology will endure.

We have spoken a lot about the Digital Divide as it applies to Americans, but if we broaden our lens, we will see the divide was greater between countries. In 2011, only 25% of households in developing countries had a computer, while in developed countries 74% had computer in their home. Many factors contributed to this, such as the region, governments, rural vs. high-density locations, and economic status. Developing nations with governments that actively ensured broadband technology was available to their people easily stood above their peers, proving the right policies can make the internet accessible to all.   

We will look at the closing of the decade in our next installment.

Pam Waggoner

About the Author: Pam Waggoner is a Community Technology Advisor for Connected Nation. She coordinates and manages the activities of planning teams in support of Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program and the development of community-specific community team creation, data gathering, and technology action planning.